Unquestionably a gaming classic
Doom II was my first FPS. I never jumped on the Doom bandwagon when it first game out, and didn't get drawn in until Doom II. Even now, I've never played the original Doom. But I've played Doom II a few dozen times.
Doom II has oodles of atmosphere, moreso than 95% of the games produced since Doom II first hit the shelves. I mean, come on. You're invading Hell
itself! What's not to like?
Who can forget the first time they wandered into the demon meat locker in one of the later levels, with rows upon rows upon rows of your fellow marines quivering on the end of spikes or hanging shredded from hooks?
Who can forget the "Gotcha" level, where one of the first things you have to do is run around two of the most powerful baddies in the game and let them shoot at each other until you can take out the survivor?
Who can forget those moments when you would open a door only to find an Arch Vile waiting for you on the other side? (And who can forget the ensuing few seconds, in which you desperately unlimbered your BFG and tried to zap the Arch Vile before he got you first with a BFG-caliber blast of his own?)
Who can forget those moments when you were creeping through a corridor waiting for something to jump out and grab you, and the phone would ring or someone would knock on the door? (Or the cat would jump up on the computer desk, as happened to a friend of mine during his first Doom II playing session. He had to get up and go outside and smoke for a while after that...)
Do the graphics hold up in comparison to today's crop of games? Well, no, not really. But the gameplay
is still topnotch, and Doom II is still tons of fun to play even today, 7 years after it was released. And, really, would you rather have a game with great graphics and adequate gameplay? Or would you prefer a game with great gameplay and adequate graphics?
Me, I'll pick the latter.
The heart-pounding suspense often made me have to get up and go do something else for a while until I calmed down.
The Bottom Line
The original Doom was the game that really gave impetus to the FPS genre, and it's rightly considered a gaming classic. Doom II is better than the original Doom. Draw your own conclusions.